We are disheartened to learn of the backlash and hostility experienced by Judge Karen McDonald following her decision to order vaccinations to two children in Oakland County. Full story here.
AAoM’s position has been to support family choice and responsibility; however when parents cannot agree, it is reasonable that a judge would look to a licensed authority tasked with such guidance. Our position on vaccinations is based on expert medical input from some of our state’s top MDs, who sit on our Medical Advisory Board, CDC guidelines, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Immunizations have led to a significant decrease in rates of vaccine-preventable diseases. The current vaccine schedule is the only one recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. No alternative schedules have been evaluated. Vaccines are tested thoroughly before licensure and vaccine safety assessment networks exist to monitor vaccine safety after licensure. Research studies indicate vaccines are safe and effective and that serious disease can occur if children are not immunized. Control of many vaccine preventable diseases is dependent on a significant proportion of the population in a community being immune and children exempt from vaccination due to personal or religious reasons are not only at greater risk of developing vaccine preventable disease, but also put vaccinated and medically exempt children who live in the same area at risk. Parent concerns range from hesitancy about some immunizations to refusal of all vaccines. Clinicians are encouraged to discuss vaccine matters with reluctant parents, keeping in mind that many, if not most, vaccine hesitant parents are not opposed to vaccinating their children, but are seeking guidance about the issues involved, including the complexity of the schedule and the number of vaccines proposed. Pediatricians and other health care providers play an important role in educating parents about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
If you have any questions about this case, please contact MiNavigator at 877.463.2266 or Navigator@aaomi.org.